1101 6th St. SW
After spending a few years holding performances in alternate venues while its own theater received an extreme makeover, Arena took the stage in the 2010-2011 season at the new Mead Center for American Theater with abandon, winning rave reviews for its unconventional casting and energetic presentation of old favorite Oklahoma! and launching a new production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Broadway.
Arena focuses on “the canvas of American theater,” including classics and new works. It was the first theater to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award when the award was introduced in 1976, and it has earned numerous Helen Hayes Awards (Washington’s premier theater prize).
The new Arena Stage preserves the old stage’s 1970s-era theater in the round, technically a theater in the square, and includes two additional performance spaces, including an architectural twist on a black box that is ovoid and paneled in brown wood.
It also features a vast lobby and self-service café by Washington top chef José Andrés.